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The Enigma machine's decoding

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Adel, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Adel

    Adel Member

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    I was surfing the net and i came across this website that discusses the enigma machinehttp://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/enigma/first of all i would like to know why it was considered semi-impossible to crack the code if the algorithm was using a letter substitution cipher, I'm sure there's more to it than the site mentions, I'm pretty sure thousands of cryptographers were not stuck simply because letters where substituted in a different manner.secondly, if anyone can provide me with any additional information about the cipher method itself, maybe even some of the original messages or so, i would be so grateful.
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Welcome Adel, to answer your query, this site might help you understand what made the Enigma seem so daunting in the beginning, it wasn't a simple substitution cipher. The plugs and wheels could be changed so that the letter typed was never substituted for the same letter in the same message. It was quite a sophisticated unit for its time, but far behind the SIGSALY and SIGABA systems developed by the US early in the war.

    Goto:

    [8.0] British Codebreakers In World War II
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Welcome to the forum! As usual Clint's on the mark.
     
  5. Adel

    Adel Member

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    Thank you both for the welcome,
    Thanks alot brndirt that was exactly what i was looking for, i thought it was a simple substitution cipher, and yes you are right, this cipher method is way ahead of its time, it's even hard to crack these days, simply Brilliant, add to that the fact that it was a mechanical device not an electronic one, I'm still amazed.
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    You are most welcome Adel, it was both a mechanical and electronic device however. It used mechanical rotors to shift position each time an input key was pressed, and then an electrical signal was sent through the system to generate and light up another letter for the substitution, when another key was pressed the first rotor shifted like an odometer would, and it would do that rotation a number times changing the letter outcome, then the next rotor would start shifting after rotations of the first wheel came to its end, and on and on through however many wheels were in the device. Then later the plugboard was added to further complicate the electric signal route. It was quite sophisticated for the time, but had its flaws for wheel settings since they tended to be written down for ocean going vessels which needed to be at sea for long periods of time.

    There were also "poor" code disciple examples which helped break the system, some operators would end each message with "Heil Hitler", and those operators laxity would open a door/window to the settings.
     
  7. Adel

    Adel Member

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    hahahaha made me laugh :D
    I understand the electrical part but what i mean was that the encryption process was performed mechanically via the rotors, I studied cryptography for a bit and I am IMPRESSED, i had no idea cryptography was at that level back then.
     
  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The American system SIGABA was the only encryption device that was never broken, it was deployed after Enigma but was a twenty year newer concept. It remained unbroken and was only replace in the late fifties when the speed of communication made it "too slow" for use.

    Here is a link to an old post of mine on SIGABA and SIGSALY, I think the links need to be copied and linked to work these days. They don't seem to just "go" tot he sites anymore.

    Goto:

    http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-general/24853-i-couldnt-find-appropriate-thread.html
     
  9. Adel

    Adel Member

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    Wow i had no idea cryptography had reached that level in 1918, still the SIGABA was not used as commonly as the enigma which was used in almost everything (which was the reason its code was cracked) I believe this is the mother of modern day cryptography, i remember there was an encryption method named cipher block chaining(digital not voice) which relied on the same concept of using the previous set of data in the encryption of the next set. kinda makes me wonder how complex military machinery is these days (the ones we do not know about) and what other secret projects exist!
     
  10. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Battle of Wits Stephan budiansky wrote an excellent book on the subject
     
  11. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    An "elementary" (one hour long...) introduction to the way the famous Enigma code was used by the Germans during WWII.
    David Perry, Cryptologic Mathematician at the NSA, explains some of the history and the mathematics behind the code.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncL2Fl6prH8
     
  12. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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